Amazon doesn’t have to put Parler back online, says judge

The Parler logo is seen on an Apple iPhone.

Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto | Getty Images

A U.S. judge has refused to order Amazon to bring Parler back online, delivering a blow to the upstart social media network.

Parler had become a haven for many conservatives and Trump supporters who felt traditional social media companies were censoring their speech. But in the wake of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month, Amazon’s cloud-computing unit told Parler that it would no longer provide cloud services to the company. Amazon alleged in court filings that it began flagging violent content to Parler in November, including posts that made death threats against lawmakers and tech executives.

In response, Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services in U.S. District Court in Seattle for withdrawing support and demanded that AWS reinstate its account.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein sided with Amazon in an order on Thursday, saying AWS was well within its rights to deny service to Parler for failing to remove content that violated the company’s terms of service.

“The court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in,” Rothstein wrote in the order. “At this stage, on the showing made thus far, neither the public interest nor the balance of equities favors granting an injunction in this case.”

The judge also rebuffed Parler’s claim that Amazon pulled the plug on the site to benefit Twitter and violated antitrust laws.

Earlier this week, Parler’s website came partly back online after the company transferred its domain name to Epik. Epik is a company that sells domain names and it also hosts Gab, a social media network that’s popular with the far-right. Additionally, Parler is using an IP address owned by DDos-Guard, a Russian company that protects websites from cyberattacks, among other services, according to Reuters.

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